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6th October, 2022 – RV Tom Crean launch ceremony at Dingle

After 11 years of operating the campaign to honour Tom Crean, here’s an announcement I’ve waited all that time to post: Celebrations can commence and it’s a huge thrill to learn that the scientific vessel that represents the Irish government finally recognising Tom Crean, the RV Tom Crean, will be making her way to Dingle Harbour on October 6th where an official launch ceremony will take place.

To my surprise, after the Marine Institute totally disregarded the campaign that brought this historic result about, two days before news of the ceremony went public, I received an ‘Admittance by Invitation only’ request to attend from them. My reply was the following:

‘Many thanks for your kind invitation to the launch ceremony of the RV Tom Crean however I must decline. While the naming of a vessel represents a radical change in Tom Crean’s timeline, the 11-year campaign that led to this historic victory has never been acknowledged by Marine Institute. I certainly would not feel comfortable standing alongside those who made the decision to disregard the efforts of over 50,000 supporters of the Ireland Should Honour Tom Crean campaign when our ambition was realised and construction of this wonderful new vessel was announced. Accepting an invitation to the ceremony would, for me, appear to be an acceptance that the campaign played no part in the decision and that is evidently untrue. It was a campaign supporter and a signatory to the petition to honour Tom Crean who put forward the proposal to the board after consulting with me about his plan in April 2020.I will of course celebrate the occasion for the greater significance that the Irish government has finally decided to honour a hero whose contribution to Irish history was also unfairly overlooked for too long. Thank you again and kind regards, Tim Foley.’ 

The day after I declined the invitation, I received news of a different kind, a funeral of someone I was very close to is being held the following day and understandably, this prevents me from travelling over to Ireland to attend the ceremony. I would loved to have stood among all who helped make this moment in history happen and celebrate the moment with them but there are matters of greater importance for me on this occasion.

On the flip side, I would have been ashamed of myself to stand on the same platform as those seeking to wallow in the glory of the occasion for their own selfish reasons.

I will remember the day by raising a drink in honour of the great man and by watching some of the videos and images taken by the crowds who will be descending on the town. I’m so pleased also that our call out for the ceremony to take place at Dingle was taken on board and that the vessel will be launched at the beautiful harbour town closest to Tom’s birthplace – it couldn’t happen at a more fitting place could it? It was a town he knew so well and the perfect spot to give the ship and those who sail in her, a great send off.

On the subject of the send-off, in the days leading up to 6th October, the most significant day in Tom Crean’s timeline since he played a primary role in saving the lives of 25 of his colleagues in 1916,  I came across an audio-clip which provided us the first reaction to the launch ceremony by one of the Crean custodians, (Tom’s grandchildren).

Offered the duty of smashing the customary bottle against the new vessel, the suggestion was made by the proposed ‘bottle-launcher’, that they use a bottle of their own Tom Crean labelled beer, for the purpose as opposed to the traditional procedure – a bottle of champagne, the brand of which never matters and the name of which no-one ever knows or cares about.

I really, really hope someone sees fit to remind them it’s not a marketing event and that their plan gets knocked back swiftly.

It would be disrespectful to his memory and totally inappropriate to use the occasion as an opportunity to advertise. It’s neither the time or the occasion to promote anything other than the greatness of the man and why this wonderful ship, funded by the Irish Government, is being named in his honour.

To read more about how people power achieved this great result – visit this link.

Home is the Sailor

For the colourised image of Tom, thanks to Matt Loughrey of and for the photo of Dingle harbour, credit and thanks goes to the website.

Because of my research Tom Crean's story has changed so do please share the posts.
    6th October, 2022 - RV Tom Crean launch ceremony at Dingle Tom Crean Book    

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